Design Festival Performance in Motion Stage

New Construction
Finish Date: 


When one thinks of a “stage,” it’s easy to go right to the traditional version of a raised floor or platform where everyone watches a performance from the same perspective. For this year’s Seattle Design Festival: Design in Motion installation, the role of the stage and how it could be adapted and optimized for use in a public space was re-imagined. Schuchart/Dow volunteered labor, materials and construction expertise to construct this temporary installation on Occidental Square for the 2014 Seattle Design Festival.

Instead of a static platform that is experienced in a narrow way, the Performance in Motion stage is meant to be experienced in motion and from every side, so the audience’s exposure changes as they move past or around the performance as so often happens in public spaces. The structure acts as a graphic container, framing the performance and drawing the eye to the motion on stage. The canopy panels are faceted and reflective to expose the audience to angles of the performance that they wouldn’t usually see, and enable them to interact with the installed piece when it is not in use.

The Performance in Motion stage is also designed to be a musical instrument itself, amplifying the sound of dancers, performers, and pedestrians alike. Modeled after a “cajon” – a six sided, box-shaped drum originally from Peru - which is played by slapping the front or rear faces (generally constructed of thin plywood). To resemble “cajons”, the floor is built with plywood boxes cut and configured to produce different sounds when tapped, stomped, or even beat on.

Schuchart/Dow constructed the stage in small, individual pieces that fit into a lightweight, transportable structure, the stage can be assembled quickly, and reconfigured to adapt to future sites.